Jeremy Brevard/USA Today Sports

Hornets buzz past Pistons in Charlotte

Charlotte has posted a 12-5 record after dropping its first three games of the season

CHARLOTTE - Playing without Al Jefferson and battling the leading the rebounder in the NBA, the Hornets needed to be aggressive on the boards. Charlotte ended up dominating.

With its 104-84 win over Detroit on Monday at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte improves to 12-8 on the season, with nine wins in 12 games in the Queen City.

Cody Zeller led the Hornets with 20 points while also pulling down six rebounds. Five Charlotte players finished with double figures in scoring. Marvin Williams had 14 points and 12 boards in the contest.

More impressively, Charlotte finished with a 57-41 advantage in rebounds despite missing its starting center. Detroit’s Andre Drummond, who led the league with over 17 rebounds per game, finished with nine points and nine boards. It was only the second time this season Drummond failed to get a double-double.

The Hornets picked up their second win in a row and third in four games.

“We have rebounded well two games in a row,” Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford said. “Cody is playing great. Marvin, I thought, set a great tone on the board.”

Charlotte outscored Detroit in every quarter. The Pistons, who were playing the second game in a back-to-back, were held to 32-of-87 (36.8 percent) shooting from the floor while also making only 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) free throws.

“We had good energy to start and they played last night, so second night of a back-to-back early in the year, which is difficult to do,” Clifford said. “We played a really good--I felt like--purposeful, energetic first half.”

Nicolas Batum finished with 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Kemba Walker, who was not expected to play after missing the team’s shootaround earlier in the day, scored 13 points and added nine rebounds.

Charlotte returns to action on Wednesday against Miami in the Queen City. The Hornets trail the Heat by a half-game in the Southeast Division standings.